Humid Anxiety – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

The sign says no running, and the tiles are slick
with water sloshed up from bodies heaving
soaked costumes over the ceramic edge.
Blown out cheeks, red eyes, and tremble arms,
one bloke who kick off as if it will propel him up,
flailing mockery of a front crawl splattering
onto the pool edge where a teenage lifeguard
squeegees the flooded walkway back to damp,
yellow shirt a symbol that he’s been trained
to fetch a brick from the depths of the deep end.
Moves slow while his colleague plays cat’s cradle,
with the whistle roped around their neck,
discuss who will hose down the shower stalls,
since the pool is almost empty now,
apart from the elderly pair doing lengths,
and a girl bone dry in the changing room arch
telling herself to step out of the fringes
before the clock on the wall ticks along further
and the whistle is blown for the last call.

I chose option three for tonight’s poetics prompt, and incorporated the word fringe into my poem. I’ll admit to feeling a little apprehensive about posting, especially when one of my previous poems got a shout out in the prompt post, I felt as if I’d set a standard to live up to.

Keeping Busy – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

The bins have been emptied,
their silver bellies lined
and sprayed to quell the stink
from last week’s puddling condensation
tack dried at the base.
In the background the washing thumps,
thuds, thunks,
throws itself around drum wet
and clinging,
till the spin cycle sticks it tight
to the very edge of a whining whirl.
Clementine clouds each counter,
cloth swept of crumbs
so they shine when the clouds part,
sun splitting through the grey
and spilling onto the tiles,
knuckled into a gleam on hands and knees,
so your face stares back up at me
tight lipped and furious,
about to speak till the sponge cuts you off.
I can soap over those features
but eventually it all dries out
and there you are watermarked
sprawled across this floor,
elbows and knees against the tiles,
and the dishwasher bleeping
that it is time.

Tonight’s DVerse Challenge is to focus on adding a ‘turn’ or a ‘window’ into our poem. I’ll admit my focus has drifted slightly at the end of this, as something keeps beeping down in the kitchen and investigation is probably in order.

Garden Of Woe – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

So many orphaned sorrows,
I gather the castoffs,
pluck stories by root,
dirt clotted,
waterlogged.
Old tears still bloom
with dark, thickened flowers.
In the potting shed I ease them
one by one
into terracotta bassinets.
Pack soil round tight,
to keep them from weeding out
into the garden proper,
before their time.
From the window, half-light,
slips between the shelving slats
trips over spiderwebs and drip trays.
Safety among the looming gloom,
safe from the unearthing grief.

Tonight’s poetics challenge was to take a line from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox, and to build a poem around it. My choice was “I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;” which has led to this rather odd piece.

Knife-edge – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

On the very edge,
where you go to curl your toes
into prayers.
Ten tiny bodies bent shoulder and hip
heads tucked in tight
as if curved spines can protect them
from the weight pressing forward,
you, so wind washed of expression,
clinging on.

Colour Comes Undone – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

I can knot myself into a kaleidoscope.
Pull in every shade of my being
till I flicker out of sight,
be whole in my absence.
Still, a Muse will find my reflection
in the ripples on a lake,
a shivering blade of grass,
half a note of birdsong.
Some such poetic nonsense
always betrays me.
Reveals the stress fractures
scattering from my joints,
the places you will press into me
to dig out meanings.
To understand me you must dismantle
all the elements within these limbs
then jigsaw them into your own creation.
Redefine all the colours in the prism,
and leave none to belong to me.